- purging or cleansing, especially by causing evacuation of the bowels.
- a purgative medicine or agent; cathartic.
Origin of purgative
Examples from the Web for purgatives
And it wanted only a dozen purgatives to cleanse it entirely.The Imaginary Invalid
They are principally used in combination with purgatives, stomachics, and tonics.Cattle and Their Diseases
In most cases of poisoning emetics and purgatives do the most good.
Purgatives should never be given when there is an irritable state of the bowels.Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million
Sarah Josepha Hale
Of the former, the most important are Purgatives and Diaphoretics.The Action of Medicines in the System
Frederick William Headland
- a drug or agent for purging the bowels
- causing evacuation of the bowels; cathartic
Word Origin and History for purgatives
late 14c., from Old French purgatif (14c.) and directly from Late Latin purgativus, from purgat-, past participle stem of Latin purgare (see purge (v.)). The noun is attested from early 15c. (Old English medical texts have clænsungdrenc).
- An agent used for purging the bowels.
- Tending to cause evacuation of the bowels.